Employee Appreciation and Recognition

Regardless of position within the business, whether an employee, CEO or business owner,
everyone commits a considerable amount of their time and effort into the organisation and
deserves recognition for their efforts. 

Dr. Bob Nelson, recognition expert, reported that 58% of employees stated that they seldom, if ever, receive a thank you from their employer for a job well done (Nelson Motivation Inc., 2017). According to Maritz Research, employees who receive recognition at work are five times more likely to feel valued, seven times more likely to stay with the company, six times more likely to invest in the company and eleven times more likely to feel completely committed to the company. 

A Cost Worth Appreciating 

In contrast, employees who feel unappreciated are more likely to leave the business and the cost of replacing an employee is considerable, reported by ACAS to cost an average of £30,000 per individual. The analysis from Oxford Economics found that by far the greatest expense, more than £25,000, comes from loss of productivity caused by the time it takes – 28 weeks on average – for a new recruit to get up to speed. 

The remaining costs arise from the logistics of finding a replacement, it said. This includes agency fees, advertising costs, HR and management time, and the possibility of hiring temps before the new role started. 

The analysis was based on figures drawn from five different sectors: retail, legal, accountancy, advertising, and IT and technology. Over a year, the report said the total costs for the sectors combined would amount to £4.13 billion (ACAS, 2014). 

Showing appreciation can have a direct impact on increasing retention, employee engagement and motivation; thus, creating a more effective workforce. It therefore makes good business sense to nurture a culture of appreciation. 

Recognising Effort 

Showing employees your gratitude for their hard work does not need to amount to financial award and sometimes a simple thank you or kind gesture is all that is required. 

Below we have detailed some ways that you can create your own employee recognition scheme: 

  • Praise an employee for doing a task well: in many organisations an employee’s performance is measured and feedback given at predetermined points (e.g. one-to-one’s or appraisals), the delay in giving praise can lead to this becoming generic. Taking the time to recognise when an employee has done something well and noting specific examples down, can allow the feedback given at these points to be more sincere and valuable to employees. 
  • A simple thank you: thanking an employee when they have done something well can go a long way. As an employer you do not need to wait until official meetings to praise employees and often thanking them at the time can be just as effective. 
  • Ask your employees about their interests: spend some time getting to know your employees, what their interests are and what motivates them. Understanding your employees can help to build up effective working relationships and lets employees know you care. 
  • Offer flexibility when it comes to working hours. If this is feasible, employees will really appreciate flexibility in relation to their working hours. Often employees wilwork over and above their regular hours and for some employees having the option to take time back is appreciated. 
  • Arranging fun traditions for seasonal holidays can increase employee morale. These activities can help with team building and create more effective working relationships between employees.
  • Increase employee autonomy: giving employee’s autonomy demonstrates you trust in their ability to do their job. It can also increase their creativity. 
  • Providing opportunities: employees like to know that they are performing well and that they can progress within the organisation. Progression does not always mean promotion, as within small businesses this is not always possible, cross skilling employees or giving them additional responsibilities can also increase morale. 

Employee recognition schemes can increase employee motivation and create a more positive and productive workforce. The above are just some examples of a few ways to show your appreciation and this is not an exhaustive list. As an employer, you know your own workforce and can be creative in your approach to showing gratitude. 


If we can help you with this or any other HR issue, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our HR Team at HR Services Scotland Ltd on 0800 652 2610.